IMPS Workshop 12 – 14 October, 2009

11th October, 2009, I, Kishan and Meejanur started our journey to Malda for the workshop at IMPS College. We boarded the Gour Express from Burdhaman Junction at 00:30 Hrs 12-10-2009. Kushal and Harsh boarded the same train from Sealdah. We reached Malda Town at around 6 AM in the morning. We got together in the station and had some chit-chat amongst ourselves. Kushal was taken to a hotel for his stay and we were taken to the college hostel by the college vehicle ( Maruti Omni).

WORKSHOP Day 1 12/10/2009

After having some rest, we freshened up and had some breakfast. We then went to the college at around 9:15 AM. It was a session for the 4th year IT students of IMPS college. Kushal gave a brief introduction on FOSS and then asked us to give a small introduction on Fedora and about our activities and how we started using Fedora. Then followed a session on Python from the very basics. We assisted Kushal by helping the students solve their doubts in their places. It was only coding using the python shell for the 1st day. Students were asked to solve a few problems. Good performers were given Fedora Badges. The session lasted till 1:00 PM and then there was a break.

After the break, it was time for the session for the 3rd year IT students of the college. Kushal gave an introductory talk on FOSS and Fedora. Then just like the previous session, it was all Python, hisss… They started enjoying python already because of its simplicity, elegance. It was all Python for the day, but only in the interpreter.

WORKSHOP Day 2 13/10/2009

The session started with the 4th year students of IT as the day before. They were introduced to the vi editor, and then some python scripting using the vi editor. Then they were told about various projects they can do within Fedora. Kushal also told them about git. Kushal also demoed them some PyQt and PyGTK applications and some Django. They seemed to like Django among others.

Time for a break.

After the lunch, it was time for the 2nd year students of IT. They have learnt C in the previous semester and were then doing Data Structures. So they were given a very basic introduction to vi editor followed by C with gcc. Then it was followed by a basic session on Python.

WORKSHOP Day 3  14/10/2009

The 3rd day of workshop started with the 3rd year IT students. They continued with Python. They along with some teachers started enjoying python. In the second session, the 2nd year IT students were taught more python. Python is simple, more readable, and after all the codes written in Python are much smaller to those written in C. The students were also told how to start contributing. Some students brought their laptops for installing Fedora. We also made a 1GB mini repository with basic packages and a shell script to automatically install them.

The 3 Day Fedora workshop was indeed a good experience for us. But it will be a success if the students start contributing to the community. For this, the teachers have an important role to play and we hope they will.

Event pics can be found at

A long night … fedX + get rpmfusion repo

I became desperate yesterday night to do some useful things, anything. Had a long offline Puja Holidays. I was struggling to understand “How to write Makefiles”, and yesterday it clicked and I ended up writing a Makefile for the ongoing fedX project. Though the makefile which I wrote is not that great, but I have a start now. Committed the changes to the fedX repository at

It was around 4:00 AM in the morning already. Made some changes in my gitorious project clones. Apart from that, I was trying to download the rpmfusion repositories for Fedora 11. I was using rsync on multiple screens for the purpose. But again and again, rsync used to stop downloading after working for sometime. Then I tried a Firefox addon “DownThemAll” and was very happy to see it work. All I needed was to browse the repository page listing all the packages, right click and select DownThemAll. And then I just needed to select where I want to save the downloaded files and start it. It downloads multiple files simultaneously and does not halt when one of the files cannot be downloaded, rather it pauses it and moves to others. It also supports resume, and has an option to skip the already downloaded files.

But I could not download the directories with DownThemAll. I guess it works only for files. Need to do some research on it. Any way, you can try to use DownThemAll. I think you will like it.

Finally, I went to sleep at 4:45 AM with my laptop running DownThemAll to download the rpmfusion repository. When I got up today morning, it was running fine. 😀

Software Freedom Day 2009, Kolkata

On 15th September, 2009 the Software Freedom Day was celebrated in

The CSI Auditorium,

Computer Society of India, Kolkata Chapter,

5, Elgin Road, 4th Floor,

Kolkata – 700020

The following talks and discussions were planned for the SFD 2009, Kolkata :

A. Mani to speak on “The Fedora Project”

J. P. Mathews to speak on “Using Linux on PCs with limited resources”

Ratnadeep Debnath(me) to speak on “Fedora-12 Highlights”

Snehashish Chakraborty to speak on “RabbitMQ”

From Durgapur, me, Kishan Goyal, Harsh Verma and Bama Charan Kundu had come to Kolkata on 15th September to attend SFD. We reached the CSI auditorium at around 4:30 PM. There we met with A. Mani. We had a small introductory chat with each other. We were given some SFD goodies like badges, balloons, etc. Then we setup Kishan’s notebook for the purpose of presentation and successfully connected it to the projector.

At around 5:00 PM, J. P. Mathews and some people from DPS Technologies India, and Rohit joined us in the SFD’09. Some students ( engineering) also turned up. There were around 12 people attending the event. A. Mani welcomed everyone to the event and then J. P. Mathews said that Snehashish Chakraborty, unfortunately, could not come to the event. Then he distributed leaflets for the new

Sapienza Home PC coming preloaded with Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

Specifications : Intel ATOM Processor 230 @ 1.6 GHz + Intel original MotherBoard, IGB RAM, 160 GB SATA HDD,

17″ TFT Display with in-built speakers, Keyboard and mouse, Optional DVD drives, etc.

Starting from Rs. 14,900 onwards.

Then A. Mani came up with his talk on the Fedora Project. It was quite informative and introduced the attendees to the features of Fedora, the Fedora Community, foundations of Fedora, Open Source. It was followed by me ( rtnpro) talking on what is new Fedora 12. Topics of the talk were General Introduction to Fedora Project, Fedora Release Cycle, features in Fedora 11, things which couldn’t be implemented in Fedora 11, what’s new in Fedora 12, common Fedora 12 bugs, how to contribute to testing. As an example, I mentioned the various opensource projects that the members of DGPLUG has been involved into. I also highlighted the significance of portable repositories, which is of vital importance when internet connection is a constraint.  Slide used for the presentation can be found at

Then there was a small break for tea. After that, J. P. Mathews gave his talk on Using Lnux on PCs with limited resources. He also discussed about the Sapienza Home PC, which is very affordable, running on Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Then he also mentioned about Linux being used at schools and educational institutions. LTSP is a good technology to be used for the purpose. He also showed interest in the ongoing Bijra Project of DGPLUG ( using LTSP). Idea of having a local flash storage in the LTSP terminals were also discussed. Open Source virtualization tools were also discussed and compared with VMWare. Mr. Mathews also mentioned a functional programming language named Erlang, and Open ERP frameworks.

This was followed by free media distribution of Fedora 11 DVDs and Ubuntu 9 Live CDs.

The event concluded at around 7:15 PM. The discussions held during the event were very interesting and innovative. This marks a long path to travel. The event was a success with people  getting in their head to foster a general understanding of software freedom, and encourage adoption of free software and open standards.

Using Linux on PCs with Limited ResourcesU